Author Topic: New VinylStudio user with some suggestions  (Read 6307 times)

skriefal

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New VinylStudio user with some suggestions
« on: September 23, 2010, 03:05:30 am »
I've used VinylStudio for a few months, but not for the recording step.  I record to an Edirol R09HR SD-based flash recorder, de-click with ClickRepair, and then use VinylStudio for tagging, album art, track splitting, and saving to FLAC.

There are a few areas where I feel that VinylStudio could improve.  These are suggestions... not bugs.  The first five are simple UI usability tweaks.  Then comes the hard stuff -- which may not be feasible, if the goal of VinylStudio is towards simplicity rather than high-flexibility/configurability.

1. Better detection of the "side start" point (needle set down) when working with imported sound files.

If the recording is done from within VinylStudio it can be set to pause until it 'hears' the needle drop, so this probably would not be an issue (haven't tried it).

When the needle drop is actually part of the sound file, however... as it often is with an imported sound file... then the spot that VinylStudio selects as the start of the first track is sometimes incorrect.  Sometimes it's prior to the needle drop; other times it's after the needle drop but as much as 4 seconds before the start of the first track (long lead-in).  This throws off all subsequent track breaks, requiring manual tweaking to fix the break points.

2. Support for remembering the size and position of the main window.

I prefer to use the program maximized or with a larger window.  But on each run it opens to some apparently fixed, smaller size.

3. Ability to turn off some of the forced confirmation dialogs.

A couple examples:
* The 'File imported successfully' dialog that is displayed after importing an external sound file.
* The 'Album art already exists for this album.  Do you wish to replace it?' dialog.

4. Auto-detection of albums (imported files) that are deleted outside of VinylStudio.

On subsequent launches of the software, detect that the files no longer exist and auto-remove them from the collction/library (perhaps with an optional/hideable prompt?).  Much more convenient than manually selecting the deleted albums from the Save Tracks tab and then selecting More > Delete Selected Albums.

If an automatic scan on startup is not feasible, this could be made an on-demand feature.  e.g. File > Clean Collection or somesuch.

5. When selecting album art, I'd like to be able to see the image dimensions (height/width).  I'd also like an option to view the image at full-size, perhaps with an additional button click (or after choosing to import it).

6. A faster way to move between the steps in the workflow, as opposed to the current method of clicking between tabs and lots of additional button clicks.

Ideally this could be configured to skip certain steps/tabs that the user doesn't care about -- e.g. Cleanup Audio or Burn CDs.  Faster, fewer button clicks, and customizable to the user's goals.

An example of what would be an ideal customized workflow:  Start the workflow, immediately display file selection dialog to select .WAV files for side 1 (and again for side 2), enter the Artist, Title, Year, click Next, be taken immediately to the Lookup Track Listing dialog (where I could select the album art, & track listing), click Next.  That's the last button click.  The software would then immediately kick in the Normalize Selected Album feature at a pre-determined level (such as -2 dB) and then save the splitted tracks in my preferred format (FLAC, 24-bit, 44.1kHz, etc).  

7. Support for integration of external audio processing tools in the workflow.

For example, SOX or other command-line driven applications for bit-depth manipulation, resampling, de-clicking, etc.  ClickRepair would be nice, but I don't know if it has a built-in command-line mode.  I'm assuming simple support, here... i.e. enter the command-line to execute, with various tags that would be replaced when the command is executed (e.g. %FI for the input filename, %FO for the output filename, etc).

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: New VinylStudio user with some suggestions
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2010, 05:51:00 pm »
Hi,

Thank you for your feedback.  Comments follow.

1.  Hold down the Alt (or Option key on the Mac) while dragging the first trackbreak.  All the other will then move too.

2.  VinylStudio remembers the window position but not whether it is maximised.  Probably it should.

3.  OK, noted (althouh I don't necessarily agree, we have not had this feedback from anyone else).

4.  Good idea.

[Edit] Actually, I undersold VinylStudio a little here.  VinylStudio already features a 'batch delete' facility which you can use to delete several albums, including the recordings themselves, in a sigle operation.  You will find it in the 'Save Tracks (and Other Batch Operations)' tab (under the 'More' button). [/Edit]

5.  Yes, this would be a nice touch.

6.  I don't really agree with this.  It's important to keep things simple and I think VinylStudio does just that.

7.  Again, this is not what the typical VinylStudio user is looking for, although I do see the value of it.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to comment.  We will add you suggestions to our to do list.

[Edit] Regarding item 6, I think the way to achieve what you are looking for might be through some kind of scripting language.  From our point of view, I'm not sure that the rewards repay the effort this would entail but I will bear it in mind. [/Edit]
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 09:49:59 am by Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft) »

skriefal

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Re: New VinylStudio user with some suggestions
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2010, 02:55:09 am »
Thanks for the tip about the ALT key on item # 1.  I'll find that very useful, I think.

I didn't really expect to see # 7 added, but would use it if it were available.  I wasn't anticipating any sort of custom scripting language... although that would be nice.  Rather, I was thinking more of something that would integrate with the custom workflows described in # 6.  For example, a custom workflow that can be told to execute external commands or batch files between workflow steps.

For # 6 & # 7, the hardest bit would likely be the process of setting up the custom workflow.  Picking which steps to run, which to skip, which custom commands to run, etc.  Actually executing the workflow would probably be easy in comparison.  I'm fine with hand-editing of XML configuration files (I'm a software architect/developer), but most VinylStudio users probably aren't.  ;D

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: New VinylStudio user with some suggestions
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2010, 11:11:08 am »
Hence the idea of some kind of scripting language.  I don't really see another way.  But, for most people, VinylStudio is about ease of use while still delivering the necessary features.

Re 4: I forgot to mention that you can delete albums in a batch from the 'Save Tracks' tab.  You can also do one or two other batch things (e.g. declicking, normalising) from this window.